Title: The Odds Are Better Together
Fandom: Star Trek TOS and AOS
Characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy
Disclaimer: I humbly disavow any rights to Star Trek.
Summary: A collection of short drabbles about our favorite three! Mostly gen, some K/S/M.
Previous Parts: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-12 | 13-16
Warning: 17. & 18. are general-ST, rather than general-trio. Sorry, they needed to be written. Enjoy these last pieces!
The scene is heavy with silence. As the Enterprise glides through space, its hull shimmers in the starlight. Inside this ship is a crew waiting with bated breath. They know what’s coming, know that it cannot be stopped and that the Enterprise cannot outrun an onslaught that will disintegrate metal and flesh in the span of three seconds.
A wave of electric, burning shock, natural and beautiful for all its destructiveness.
Some crew cling together in groups, saying desperate goodbyes or making soft admissions; a few stand alone, separated.
One such is the Captain of this vessel. He bears a height that speaks of pride and survival of toil. Does this man, who refuses to believe in the no-win scenario, admit defeat in the final moments of his command? Of his life?
Does he truly stand alone?
His Bridge crew is behind him, not with him, at their stations. Yet if one looks closely, their focus is not inward but on their leader—even when the cold truth remains that he can do nothing to change fate. Still, they whisper Kirk and count themselves lucky to have served under such an honorable Captain.
If—no, when—the ship goes down, Kirk goes not alone. He stands braced against his seat—the symbol of his duty—and meets that which is Death unyielding and strong-jawed. And those members of his crew—of his Bridge crew, in particular—will rise from their seats in the last few seconds and think Glory be to the Enterprise! They circle that man—James Tiberius Kirk—drawn, as always, to his strength, courage, and character.
They go in union, spread into a billion particles across the deep black of space.
“Take me! I’m the Captain!”
“No, I’m the Captain!”
“I’m the Keptin!”
A loud chorus echoes into the rafts of the hall. The (newly discovered) inhabitants of this planet look at one another in confusion. When they had said “Bring us your leader!” they had not expected five leaders (Captain? Is this the alien word for leader?)—and including a female—of the intruders on their homeworld.
Gorek, a tall stooping fellow, gestures at the most straight-backed alien of the group. “You are the—Captain?”
The pointy-eared, slightly greenish one has a very closed expression, though he answers coolly enough. “I am Acting Captain of the starship Enterprise.”
What is Acting? So he’s the Leader?
Gorek is interrupted in his musing as another, a rather loud one, interrupts with “He’s a fool, that’s what he is!” Then a second two-legged creature steps forward and holds out an appendage. “I’m Captain McCoy, pleasure to meet ya’ll.”
A’gak prods Gorek in his fleshy neck. He asks lowly (somewhat fearfully), “Is the bearing of his teeth a sign of aggression?” The rest of Gorek’s clan shift with apparent nerves.
The giant Gorek just grunts. He, too, would like to know. No matter. If necessary, they are such a small bunch that he could perhaps crush them (if they don’t scatter too fast). Violence makes him queasy, though. He hopes they aren’t aggressive.
Gorek focuses again when he realizes that one of them is waving a device at his lower tentacle. It says to another, the silent one, “Mr. Spock, we need that communicator—the rest are broken! Should I—shoot at it or something?”
What is a Spock? Such strange little aliens!
Another speaks, the one who says worse gibberish than all of the rest. “They’re huge, like the giants of Russia! I will distract them. Uhura can sneak over—”
The loud-mouthed one yells again. “Hell you will, Chekov! I ain’t gonna fill you back up with air if you get squashed like a Junebug!”
“But the Keptin—”
“Well, Jim isn’t here! And a good thing too, ’cause he’d already be killed flatter than dead by now!”
Then the aliens seem to be squabbling (deciding on a plan of attack?), all except for the green fellow that keeps both eyes on them the whole time. Gorek leans over when A’gak shoves something under his nose. “What’s that?”
“Don’t know, found it on the floor. So tiny! What do you suppose it does?” A’gak is still a child, really; sometimes too curious for his own good.
“Put it back.”
“Put it back NOW.”
The BOOM of his voice startles the aliens enough that one of them tips over with a squawk. A’gak drops the thing dead-center between the two groups with one of his shorter tentacles. This seems to astonish the aliens.
Gorek is still confused. Why are they here? What do they want?
(Aliens make his bowels clench.)
Are they like those severely ugly little invaders? The mean ones, who stomped around (kind of hilariously, given their small stature) and made strange demands about an—Empire. Yes, that was the word. After Gorek was forced to swat a few away—they blasted him, which tickled—they gave up and disappeared. (Luckily, not to return again.)
These aliens don’t seem as terrible; they have yet to tickle him with their devices or swarm around and rant.
When the female (Gorek can sense this easily, her gender radiates differently) picks up the thing that A’gak dropped, she says words that he does not understand. “Thank you. We’ll leave you alone now.” Then they are gone in a flash of lights, and Gorek is grateful.
He turns to A’gak and chastises, “Don’t touch alien artifacts!” A’gak emanates a pout.
The giant burbles his relief. Another disaster averted!
Leonard looks at the Vulcan, who is intently hunched over the science station, and knows that this is going to be one Hell of a five-year mission.
Of course, then said-Vulcan turns around and states, “Doctor, your presence is not allowed on the Bridge.”
Scratch that. This five-year mission is going to be HELL, pure and simple. How is an old country doctor like Leonard McCoy going to be able to deal with the ramrod-backed Mr. Spock (who must be nothing more than an emotionless calculator of a living being)? He wonders if the Vulcan will recite violated regulations even while he’s being whacked on the head with a medical tricorder.
(Just testing for hollowness up there, Spock!)
Then one James T. Kirk slowly turns in his Captain’s chair and addresses Mr. Spock loudly enough for the entire Bridge crew to hear—not that they don’t have their ears perked anyway. “Bones can come to the Bridge if he wants to, Spock.”
The Vulcan raises one of those damnable eyebrows. (Len’s a little jealous that it can go higher than his own.)
Kirk adds, “The CMO of my ship has access to all decks.”
McCoy bounces on the balls of his feet, barely refraining from tacking on his opinion. Needs access ’cause he already knows full-well how you crazy you are, Jim! Leonard settles for grinning at Mr. Spock instead.
Score one for Doctor McCoy. Maybe the next five years won’t be so bad after all. Leonard bets that he can teach this Vulcan a thing or two.
Then his mind wanders in a more vital direction. Now who’s got the liquor supply on this blasted ship? He casts an experienced eye over the other crew. There’s a Scotsman right about McCoy’s age hanging over another console to his left.
Normally, Leonard is wary when a group of natives wants the Enterprise crew to participate in some (dangerous or absurd) ritual. He’s had to remove unsanitary objects from unspeakable places on unfortunate ensigns; he’s seen Spock try to imitate a caper upon a sea of flower petals (that’s by far McCoy’s favorite recollection); and he clearly remembers that time the Captain was designated an official harem boy of the Great Jaewah—a dour little man with an eye for “hair like ripe wheat.”
Today, he thinks, might be the exception.
A small group of five or six native musicians begin what McCoy must assume is their traditional wedding song. Even if it sounds a bit tacky to Leonard, a man who has actually marched down the aisle before, he won’t spoil the ceremony over such a trivial detail.
Spock approaches the altar first, in his usual manner—hands clasped behind his back and expression serene. Len can see the gleaming of those dark eyes from far away. Jim grins on his march, looks so happy (and gloriously golden) that it makes Leonard’s heart beat a little faster and his stomach fill with the proverbial butterflies. Then Jim and Spock are standing together, touching hands and sharing unspoken words. As one, they turn to await McCoy.
He thinks horrifyingly for a second that his legs won’t work, but after catching Jim’s bright (beckoning) gaze and Spock’s smiling eyes, Leonard takes the first step. The rest are easy, then, and the walk is so surreal that he will barely remember details like the soft dirt under his boots or the crowd of cheerful faces. He’ll only think about the elation filling up his lungs and the sight of Jim and Spock waiting for him.
When Leonard stops in the middle between them, Jim leans in and kisses him. The native chieftain—and minister—makes a sound of disapproval.
Spock says softly, “Jim, you cannot seal the bond until the ceremony is performed.”
Jim just keeps on grinning, not the least bit repentant. McCoy doesn’t roll his eyes or complain—though he has good cause. After all, didn’t Jim and Spock just blatantly share a few Vulcan kisses a moment ago? Oh well, what the natives don’t know won’t hurt ’em.
The ceremony is short and to the point, just as Len prefers.
The chieftain points at Spock, says, “Do you accept these men as your mates, promise to share the joy of Life with them unto the Great Beyond?”
Spock replies, “I so accept. We will be One.”
The same question is repeated to Jim, who never gives pause in his “I accept.”
Leonard doesn’t even need the question, but he waits politely for the chieftain to speak. His answer is “Yes, I accept them both.”
The native declares them bound in holy matrimony and a great hurrah goes up. Jim grabs Bones by the shoulders, asks Spock mischievously, “Now?” The Vulcan agrees “now” and Jim steals Len’s breath right from his lungs. Then he moves onto Spock, who leans in graciously, before allowing Bones a turn to kiss the Vulcan bride.
So it is that they get married for the first time on a humble little planet called Trilla, and Bones doesn’t mind much at all.
Note: We got an ending and a beginning, some K/S/M goodness and a rare POV. Thanks for playing along! My brain is going to marinate in other plot bunnies now. Until we meet again, over Story, my dear readers.